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61 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 91558 15-Oct-2011 16:19
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I've got Panasonic LCD HD TV - but without inbuilt Freeview. I watch terrestrial Freeview via a set top box - a Zinwell.

At present all my recording is done off the analogue transmissions, using a DVD recorder and a VCR. I can record two channels and watch a third. However, I cannot record any Freeview  transmissions.

What would be a good configuration should I wish to set up for Freeview recording?

Should I get a twin tuner device - like a twin tuner Panasonic DVD recorder, or an HD set top box with twin tuners? And should I "go for" a recorder with hard disk or USB device?

And what about the HD set top Freeview receiver/tuners that split the signals via a mux (a multiplex) arrangement that I understand "marshall" the channels into (I think) three groups. I understand there are issues and/or limitations that have to be understood and worked around if I wish to, say, record two channels and watch a third. And all that depends on which channels combinations I wish to record and/or watch.

What comments have folk got?

What make and model of devices would be the best to go for.

Do the available devices have to be Freeview approved or does that not really matter?

Thanks for all guidance to help me make my decision.

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487 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 533752 15-Oct-2011 16:53
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Are you using Windows7 O/S on your PC?

If so, you can setup Windows Media Centre to pick up the signal from your Freeview unit.  It'll turn your computer into A Digital Video Recorder.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 533756 15-Oct-2011 16:57
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Gradine: I've got Panasonic LCD HD TV - but without inbuilt Freeview. I watch terrestrial Freeview via a set top box - a Zinwell.

At present all my recording is done off the analogue transmissions, using a DVD recorder and a VCR. I can record two channels and watch a third. However, I cannot record any Freeview  transmissions.

What would be a good configuration should I wish to set up for Freeview recording?


I had a Zinwell box and used to record Freeview via the composite video out to the DVD recorder. The HDMI went to the TV. Only SD and one channel at a time but worked fine until I upgraded to a Sony ex720 and Panasonic DMR BW880 Blu Ray recorder when the prices dropped.
I can thoroughly recommend the Panasonic and the new 3D model would be even better. Basically any twin tuner PVR box will do want you want whether Freeview certified or not but I like my Panasonic.

 
 
 
 


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Geek


  Reply # 533794 15-Oct-2011 18:50
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+1 on Panasonic bw880 does everything I need plus more and consolidated my set up.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 533808 15-Oct-2011 19:38
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Gradine: Should I get a twin tuner device - like a twin tuner Panasonic DVD recorder, or an HD set top box with twin tuners? And should I "go for" a recorder with hard disk or USB device?

The twin tuner Freeview Panasonic DVD recorder is a HD set top box with twin tuners. But I would not recommend buying that model as it comes with a small HD and buying a DVD drive in 2011 doesn't make sense. You should go for something with an internal HDD.

And what about the HD set top Freeview receiver/tuners that split the signals via a mux (a multiplex) arrangement that I understand "marshall" the channels into (I think) three groups. I understand there are issues and/or limitations that have to be understood and worked around if I wish to, say, record two channels and watch a third. And all that depends on which channels combinations I wish to record and/or watch.

The channels are broadcast from the mast on three muxes except in a few places where one of the muxes is missing. A single tuner in the receiver can only handle one mux at once, and a double tuner receiver can handle two. None on the market are able to handle three muxes at once.

Do the available devices have to be Freeview approved or does that not really matter?

There are very little options for non Freeview approved terrestrial PVRs as NZ uses an almost unique EPG which generic devices don't support. If you don't want to use a Freeview box, you'll need to do something like what urban says.

The Panasonic DMR-BWT700GZ with twin tuners and DVD/Blu-ray read/write support is probably the most able MyFreeview|HD option. But it is pricy at $999. The DishTV T1050PVR and MagicTV 3700TD are the main alternatives at $396 and $577. It is unclear whether or not these devices encrypt recordings on their HDDs. The older 3600TD has alternative firmware available (see the 3600TD thread) and should still come up on Trademe.

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  Reply # 533811 15-Oct-2011 19:51
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TiVo. No seriously. TiVo cops a lot of flack on geekzone, some is definitely true regarding telecom and some people's issues getting units serviced.

However, it is an excellent platform. I never, (apart from RWC tonight, etc) watch live tv any more. The system is easy to use, has good "season pass" features etc.

There are a couple of limitations, no PRIME EPG for example (you can still watch and record PRIME with manual programmes), and you need the clunky home networking package to copy off recordings to your pc or whatever.

Otherwise it is a great HD PVR. The UI is mature and efficient, the device (mine at least, knock on wood) has been completely reliable. Definitely try one out if you can.

Cheers,
Joseph

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  Reply # 533813 15-Oct-2011 19:57
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jofizz: TiVo. No seriously. TiVo cops a lot of flack on geekzone, some is definitely true regarding telecom and some people's issues getting units serviced.

However, it is an excellent platform. I never, (apart from RWC tonight, etc) watch live tv any more. The system is easy to use, has good "season pass" features etc.

There are a couple of limitations, no PRIME EPG for example (you can still watch and record PRIME with manual programmes), and you need the clunky home networking package to copy off recordings to your pc or whatever.

Otherwise it is a great HD PVR. The UI is mature and efficient, the device (mine at least, knock on wood) has been completely reliable. Definitely try one out if you can.

Cheers,
Joseph


+1 from me.  Most stable reliable device I have come across, some great deals were to be had if you are a Telecom customer.  Wife and kid proof as well.   




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  Reply # 533816 15-Oct-2011 20:08
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As the owner of a system that can record teh shiz out of everything broadcast (either in HD or SD), I'd push someone looking for a Just works solution at a tivo (or mysky is you're a subscriber).




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  Reply # 533847 15-Oct-2011 22:24
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If you have the ZMT-620 you could just install this software and enable its record to USB port feature:

http://code.google.com/p/zimview/wiki/InstallingOleviaFirmwareOnZinwellSetTopBox

Cost $0

If you google around you will see that others have done it ok.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 534278 17-Oct-2011 13:28
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Thanks for those great replies.


Now I have the information I need to set myself up so as to suit my "style" of watching (Freeview) TV and recording as required.


     

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 534291 17-Oct-2011 14:13
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Another +1 for the Tivo. Excellent platform and great WAF (except for the lack of Prime EPG)...

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 534309 17-Oct-2011 14:59
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I've never looked at the Tivo in any detail, and the comments about it lacking programme guide for Prime suggests that it doesn't take its guide information from the Freeview broadcast EPG. So how does it get programme guide data, does it need to have an internet connection as well as an aerial connection?

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  Reply # 534310 17-Oct-2011 15:00
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Yes it downloads the EPG from the internet.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 534882 18-Oct-2011 18:23
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Deev8: I've never looked at the Tivo in any detail, and the comments about it lacking programme guide for Prime suggests that it doesn't take its guide information from the Freeview broadcast EPG. So how does it get programme guide data, does it need to have an internet connection as well as an aerial connection?

sbiddle: Yes it downloads the EPG from the internet.

Needing an internet connection as well as a aerial seems a bit of a drawback if you just want to record TV broadcasts especially when all of the programme guide information is available over the air.

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  Reply # 535061 19-Oct-2011 09:54
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Deev8:
sbiddle: Yes it downloads the EPG from the internet.

Needing an internet connection as well as a aerial seems a bit of a drawback if you just want to record TV broadcasts especially when all of the programme guide information is available over the air.


And (ha this will sound all doomsdayish) you have to hope the internet provider of this info keeps providing it.  No internet provided method has the support of all TV channels and this is shown in PlayTV's failed attempt to unite the clans as well.

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